Monday, May 26, 2014

Mrs Hoffman's Healthy Stir Fry

My Home Economics teacher commented, that she would like the recipe, on one of my face book posts. This is especially for her.

At the same time, I would like to take a moment, to thank her, for the blessing she has been, in my life.

Through her teachings, she laid the foundation, not only for my cooking, but my sewing, and home building skills, too! I think of her, often; whether it be cooking or sewing. The skills I learned in her class will last my life time, and be passed on to future generations.

To say, "Thank you, Mrs Hoffman." is not enough. I hope she knows what an important person, and extraordinary teacher she is.

This recipe starts with Bulgur, that has been prepared. Click the link to learn how to make it. 

An assortment of vegetables has been prepped. From 12 O'clock we have: celery, red bell pepper, yams (microwaved), jalapeno, cabbage, red onion, green bell pepper, zucchini, and carrot. 

You are not limited by these choices. It happened to be what I had on hand.

The only thing you need to be concerned with, is having everything ready to go! Stir frying is a quick cooking method, and from this point, everything needs to move fast. 

I've heated the griddle to medium - high, or about 375, and have given it a light coat of olive oil. You may use a wok, if that is your preference.

The vegetables are sprinkled with Righteous Seasoning. Just click the link to see what that is made up of. Cook the vegetables for a couple of minutes, to al dente. I don't like over cooked vegetables.

Make room for the Bulgur. Add about a teaspoon of olive oil to the griddle.

Put the Bulgur right over the oil, and let it cook a minute.

Then stir the Bulgur into the vegetables, another minute or so.

Served like this.

Or paired with your favorite meat. This dish is guaranteed an A+ in my book!


Olive oil to coat cooking surface
1 Cup assorted mixed vegetables, prepared
Sprinkle Righteous Seasoning, (see recipe)
1 Teaspoon olive oil
2/3 Cup cooked Bulgur, (see recipe)

Heat wok, or griddle, to medium high heat. Coat with olive oil. Stir fry mixed vegetables, seasoning with Righteous Seasoning; until al dente. Push vegetables to the side; making room to stir fry the bulgur. To the wok, or griddle, add olive oil. Place bulgur on top of oil. Let bulgur fry for a minute, then stir, to incorporate the vegetables. Makes 1 serving.

VEGETABLE SUGGESTIONS:  Onion, celery, carrot, bell pepper, sweet potatoes, yams (microwave), jalapeno, peas, snow peas, zucchini, green beans, bean sprouts, mushrooms, zucchini, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.

Tips:  This is a quick cooking process. It is important to have all ingredients prepped. Do not overcrowd the pan, as you will go from frying to steaming. Cook 1 or 2 servings at a time.


In an attempt to eat healthier, and consume more whole grains, I'm switching out white rice, for bulgur, in some recipes.

Bulgur is a staple of Middle Eastern cooking. You'll find it in many recipes, such as:  Tabbouleh, Dolma's, Kufteh, and Pilaf.

Bulgur is a parboiled whole grain. Parboil simply means, it has been cooked briefly, in boiling water. Since it is parboiled, the cooking time is reduced. It will cook in the same amount of time, that it would take to make white rice.

When purchasing, keep in mind that it comes in four grinds:

     Grinds 1 and 2 are fine, and are used in:  baked goods, salads, and stuffings.

     Grinds 3 and 4 are coarse, and are used in:  pilaf, or soup.

I am just to demonstrate how to cook bulgur. Once the bulgur is cooked. I am going to use it for a stir fry.

Before you begin, make sure you are using a large sauce pan with a tight fitting lid. 
Bring the heat up to medium high. Heat olive oil and bulgur. Stirring continually. 

For this recipe, I am flavoring with chicken and butter. If you are vegan, skip this step.

Let the flavoring cook into the bulgur for a minute or so.

Pour in water. The liquid ratio is 2:1 (2 parts liquid to 1 part bulgur), but on the fine grind, I cut back on the liquid a little.

 If you are going the vegan route, water is fine, but since no flavoring was added prior, I would suggest using vegetable stock.

Bring to a boil.

Cover with a lid. Then cut the heat down to medium low. Let simmer for 20 minutes. Don't stir!

You can check to see if it's done, by tilting the pot towards you. If there is no water pooling, it is done. If there is water, cover and allow it to simmer. Check every few minutes.

Fluff, with a fork, prior to serving. The colder it gets, the fluffier it becomes. Serve, as is, for a basic flavored bulger.

Store, covered, in the refrigerator. This is now prepped to use in my stir fry recipe: 


1 Teaspoon olive oil
1 Cup bulgur (#3 or #4)
2 Chicken bouillon cubes, crushed 
1 Tablespoon butter
2 Cups water

Heat olive oil and bulgur, in a large sauce pan, over medium high heat. Allow bulgur to cook for a minute or so. Stir in crushed bouillon cubes and butter, and cook for another minute. At this point the bulgur will have a nice coating of oil throughout. Stir in water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover with a tight fitting lid. Allow bulgur to simmer, at medium low heat, for 20 minutes; until all the water has been absorbed by the bulgur. To check for doneness: tilt the pan, to see if any water pools. If there is still water, cover, and continue cooking. Makes 3 1/2 cups cooked bulgur.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Righteous Seasoning

I've created this simple seasoning, to use on meats and vegetables. What I like, about this seasoning, is the nice color the paprika gives, to the food.

Simply combine the ingredients, in a small bowl. 

Then funnel into an airtight container. I like to recycle spice canisters.

If they have a shaker; well that's a bonus!


1/2 Cup kosher salt
1/8 Cup pepper
1/8 Cup granulated garlic
1/8 Cup paprika

Combine ingredients, in a small bowl. Funnel into an airtight container. (A recycled spice container works great). Use as a seasoning for meats and vegetables. 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Catherine's Hamburger BBQ (Sloppy Joes)

When two people take a genuine interest in each other, a friendship is formed. I am so blessed to have a best friend. We have shared, literally, every detail of our lives, for the past 12 years, and yet we still love each other! Ha ha!

Seriously though, my best friend is an inspiration to me. While she battles Epilepsy and Grand Mal Seizures, that take a toll on her physically and mentally, she always rebounds! I don't know how she does it. She is such a fighter and never gives up. I admire her strength and determination.

Nowadays, our conversations are sparse, as she moved across the country. I miss our daily phone calls and interactions. It was during a telephone chat, she shared her family recipe for Catherine's Hamburger BBQ. You may know this recipe as Sloppy Joes. It was given to her, by her grandmother-in-law, Catherine. Her family recipe, is now my family recipe. I will treasure it, as I do our friendship.

This recipe is so good, that you can give up the canned Sloppy Joe mix for good! I promise you won't miss it. 

The original recipe calls for ground beef, but I have substituted lean ground turkey, that has been fortified with Kitchen Bouquet Browning & Seasoning Sauce. I simply mix the two ingredients, so the seasoning is incorporated into the meat. You can read about my post on, How To Make Ground Turkey Taste Like Ground Beef, by clicking the link. 

The ground beef  is cooked through, with onion, and green bell pepper (the bell pepper is optional). Then, any liquid that the meat gives off, is strained.

I find that the seasoning ingredients fit into a 1 cup measuring cup, just perfectly. 

That seasoning is stirred in, with the meat. 

And allowed to simmer for 15 minutes. 

Serve on your favorite bun, with your favorite side. This sandwich is, also, great with coleslaw piled on high!


1 Pound ground beef     - or -     1 Pound ground turkey, plus 1 Tablespoon Kitchen Bouquet      Browning & Seasoning Liquid
1 Small onion, diced
1 Small bell pepper, diced (optional)
1 Teaspoon kosher salt
1 Teaspoon black pepper
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 Tablespoon mustard
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 Tablespoon vinegar
1/2 Cup ketchup

In a large sauce pan, on medium-high heat, cook meat with onion, bell pepper, salt and pepper. Strain any juices that come off the meat. Stir in remaining ingredients. Bring mixture up to a boil, then reduce heat, to medium-low. Allow mixture to simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Serve with your favorite bun.  

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

As Mother's Day quickly approaches, I find myself reflecting on my mom. Everything I learned, came from my mom. She really is the best cook I know. So many of my recipes originated with her: everybody's favorite Enchilada Stack, the Spaghetti we couldn't get enough of growing up, and her Garlic Studded Rump Roast was a Sunday favorite. Thanksgiving isn't the same without her dressing. Isn't it funny how we all love mom's cooking? I mean, really, can anyone hold a candle to mom? I don't think so. 

My mom shared this recipe for, Pineapple Upside Down Cake, with me. She said she learned how to make it from her Home EC Teacher in High School.

You'll need a deep cake pan, or cast iron skillet for this recipe. For this demonstration I am using a Wagner #10 frying pan, because that's how mom does it. Alternatively, you can use a deep 9 or 10" cake pan. Give the pan a light coating, using Crisco shortening. An important hint, for using cast iron. Never spray your iron with cooking spray. It leaves a greasy build up that is hard to remove from the pan. Crisco, on the other hand, actually helps to season cast iron. 

Dot butter, on the bottom of the pan, then top with most of the brown sugar.

Arrange pineapple and cherries on top of brown sugar. Make sure to reserve pineapple for the batter. 

Cover with remaining sugar. 

Combine cake and pudding mix.

Then incorporate the remaining cake ingredients.

Carefully pour batter over pineapple. 

Drag a knife through the batter, to release air bubbles. 

Bake until cake tests done. 

While cake is still warm, release the cake from the edge of the pan.

Then invert, onto a sheet, or cake plate.

This is a classic cake recipe, given to me by a classy lady, my Mother. Happy Mother's Day!


6 Tablespoons butter
1 Cup brown sugar, divided
7 or 8 Pineapple slices
14 Maraschino cherries

1 Duncan Hines yellow cake mix
1/2 Package instant vanilla pudding
3 Eggs
1/3 Cup vegetable oil
1 1/4 Cups pineapple juice
1 Teaspoon vanilla
2 Pineapple slices, crushed

Grease a 10 x 3" cake pan, lined with parchment paper, or a 10" cast iron skillet, unlined. Dot butter in pan. Top butter with 3/4 cup brown sugar, covering bottom of pan. Arrange pineapple slices and cherries. Scatter remaining brown sugar over pineapple. In a large mixing bowl, stir the cake and pudding mixes. Incorporate remaining cake ingredients. Bake at 350 for Bake 50 to 55 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. While cake is still warm, release the cake from the edge of the pan. Then invert, onto a sheet, or cake plate. Serve warm. Store cake loosely covered. 

*Note - use a large size can of sliced pineapple, either 15 or 20 ounce size will work. Start with reserving 2 slices for the batter. Use remaining slices for the topping. If you find you are short on juice, make up the difference, using water.